Virginia’s psych hospitals are close to full; UVA-Wise will offer free tuition to some students and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• A district court judge accused of sexually harassing courthouse staff with crude remarks and emailed pictures withdrew his application for reappointment after a group of clerks told lawmakers they would refuse to work in his courtroom. His judicial district stretched from Powhatan to Petersburg.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “Senate Democrats, who will hold a slim majority in the General Assembly’s upper chamber when the 2020 session begins in January, on Wednesday elected Sen. Dick Saslaw of Fairfax County as the next majority leader and re-elected Sen. Mamie Locke of Hampton as the caucus chair.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• All 15 judges on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a Richmond man’s challenge that he was illegally searched following a shooting when police made all men seen leaving the area lift up their shirts so they could check for guns in their waistbands. The full court only hears a handful of cases a year.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Prince William County’s outgoing Republican majority voted to name a new park after a former clerk of court “whose actions effectively delayed the legalization of gay marriage in Virginia.”—Prince William Times

• “Virginia’s nine public psychiatric hospitals — housing a larger number, proportionately, than almost any other state — have been operating at more than 90% of capacity for the past three years. They peaked above 100% this summer and again in September and have been above 95% pretty much every week since February.”—Daily Press

• Seven motorcyclists died this year following crashes in which they weren’t wearing helmets, up from zero last year.—InsideNOVA

• The Commonwealth Institute says Democrats should restore Virginia’s estate tax, which was repealed about a decade ago.—WVTF

• “The University of Virginia’s College at Wise — the coalfield region’s only four-year college — will soon offer free education to students of families that earn $40,000 or less, the college announced Wednesday.”—The Roanoke Times

• U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Westmoreland, told a Richmond radio host, “There’s actually been more subpoenas issued by the (U.S. House) majority than bills passed.” PolitiFact Virginia says that’s false.—VPM

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